Explore Leiden by water

Leiden is second only to Amsterdam in having the most water flowing within its city gates. Leiden’s historic city centre has a stunning total of 28 kilometres of canals and moats. Bridges are required to get across all of those canals and moats. The centre of Leiden has no fewer than 88! Leiden is a perfect place to discover from the water. The Leiden-based boat companies offer a wide range of boat tours and package deals, but you can also rent a boat yourself. The historic city looks completely different from the water.

Leiden’s canals run past the museums, the city’s courtyards and many historic buildings with beautiful facades. There are also food and beverage options at many locations near the canals, many of which have terraces right along the water. Leiden is also a perfect starting point for lovely day trips in the area. The village of De Kaag and Braassemermeer lake are right around the corner and it’s also quite easy to sail to locations such as Katwijk, Delft and even Rotterdam.

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Leiden is second only to Amsterdam in having the most water flowing within its city gates.

Travelling with your own boat? 

Leiden is easily accessible with your own boat. The quays are low and there are mooring places everywhere. There are jetties located in strategic locations and mooring rings are installed along various quays. Please keep in mind that some bridges are rather low.

VVV Leiden tourist office sells a nice sailing route for sloops: The 66 Bridges Route. This route costs €3.

Leiden has two marinas. The marina at the Beestenmarkt is set up for day tourists. You cannot stay here overnight. The marina on the outskirts of the city does accommodate overnight stays. This harbour is only accessible from the east via the Zijl, the Rhine-Schie Canal and the Oude Rijn. For more information about the marina, please contact the harbour office at telephone number 071 – 521 96 75.

The historic harbour is home to historical commercial ships, which together create a beautiful harbour view.